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  Monday, July 22, 2019
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Russia's Foreign Ministry praised President Nicolas Sarkozy's initiative Friday
Russia's Foreign Ministry praised President Nicolas Sarkozy's initiative Friday to ban medium- and shorter-range nuclear missiles, which is in line with Moscow's October 2007 proposal.

"We welcome proposals designed to strengthen international security," the ministry said. "Regarding the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, President Vladimir Putin proposed making obligations under it binding for all countries at a meeting with the U.S. defense and foreign secretaries on October 13, 2007."

Sarkozy, in a speech at the northern port of Cherbourg on Friday, announced a cut in France's nuclear arsenal, to less than 300 warheads, and urged China and the United States to halt weapons tests.

He called for negotiations on a treaty to ban short- and intermediate-range ground-to-ground missiles and a treaty to ban the manufacturing of material for nuclear weapons.

"I propose launching without delay negotiations for a treaty banning the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons and to impose an immediate moratorium on the production of these materials," he said.

The French president also urged China and the United States to ratify a nuclear test ban treaty they signed in 1996.

"It's time to ratify," he said.


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